3/31/2012

one year

One year ago today I said goodbye to my Mom.

One year ago today I spent the day with my dad, sister, brother and uncle . . . gathered around my Mom, comforting her while she slipped into sleep, then death.

One year ago today I walked out of the nursing home room clutching my Mom's glasses, her blanket and an emptiness I will hang on to forever.



I miss you, Mom

My thoughts and feelings today are hard to explain, so I found the eulogy I gave at her burial.  It is a letter I wrote to her grandchildren and best describes what I feel my Mom would have wanted them to know and carry in their hearts.

Dear Maddi, Ellie, Ben, Alyssa, Maren and Megan,
 
Today we are here to honor the life of Grandma Sue.  To lay her remains next to her father, mother and brother; as was her wish.  We will do and say all things in her memory today.
 
Grandma Sue had many wishes.  One of the greatest was to know you, love you, and see you grow and prosper.  

Since Grandma is no longer here on earth to see her wishes come to be, it falls to her children to carry those wishes in our hearts and share them with you.
 
My wish and prayer today is for you  to know, really know, just how much Grandma Sue loved you.  I know this based not only on her words, but by her actions as a mother to me, Jessie and Jon.  Grandma adored being a mother and took joy in caring for us as we were children.  She showed us love through countless hugs and kisses, by kneeling aside our bed to rub our backs when we were troubled, and by spending many hours in the kitchen creating what have come to be our favorite foods.
 
Grandma showed her love for her children by caring.  Always offering open arms, ready for an embrace to share in our sorrows and celebrate our joys.  Jessie, Jon and I know how to offer comfort to you because we learned it from how Grandma showed her love to us . . . . physical and obvious,  never saying we were too old or getting too big to receive her hugs.
My wish and prayer today is for you to know the strength and grace it took for Grandma Sue to show her love to you.   I do not want you to remember Grandma as she was sick, but to know her by the stories we will share and the gifts she left IN you.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Gifts like her laughter.  Did you know every time you laugh and giggle a little part of Grandma is laughing too?  Grandma loved to laugh.  Sometimes with a closed mouth smirk and a twinkle in her eyes, other times with a sly snicker but most often she let loose with a loud, belly heaving, air catching cackle that made everyone within earshot smile.  If you ever forget the sounds, or if you are too little to remember, simply tell a joke or make a funny face or tickle your parents to experience Grandma Sue's laughter through our mouths.  Laughter is such a great gift to be able to share, and you have Grandma to thank for sharing with you.
Romans 12:4-6
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
Another gift Grandma left in you was a desire to clean and organize.  You may not know it yet, but there is a special talent to making things nice and tidy.  Grandma shared with us when we were children, exactly how to make-up a proper bed (learned from HER father, Grandpa Mahan, just how to make 'hospital' corners with the sheets nice and tight).  She also taught her children how to dust, vacuum (lines!  don't step on the freshly made vacuumed lines!), wash a floor on your hands and knees (the proper way), and clean a bathroom faucet to make it shine.  You may not appreciate being the recipient of such knowledge, as these tasks are often thought of as dreaded chores, but learning how to take care good care of things and picking up after yourself will serve you and your future families.
In her own way, Grandma was teaching us from:
Deuteronomy 15:10
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to

Inside of you, her beautiful grandchildren, Grandma gave you the desire to try, and try again.  Perseverance.  She was troubled by so many internal struggles that caused her to stumble and fall so many times, but she was always willing to stand up and try again.  An old Chinese Proverb states that "failure is not falling down but refusing to get up."  I believe Grandma tried, and tried again until God told her she could rest.  Her body was tired and worn out from her battles.  Up until her last hours on earth she was attempting to "get up and get moving", in an effort to try, try again.
Philippians 3:20-21
But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.
 
Now in heaven, Grandma has a glorious body that knows no pain.  She is free from the heavy burden it took to keep her ailing body alive.  I believe it was God's will whispered to Grandma that she turn to Him and asked for relief.  For His will be carried out and her eternal life with Him to begin sooner than later.
Timothy 4:6-8
For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
 
When you are older, as Maddi is now, I hope we share with you the story of our last couple of days with Grandma Sue.  Chased by fear and anxieties for most of her life, God whisked those burdens away and replaced it with peace.  We want you to know that Grandma was able to enjoy and participate in conversations and memories with us.  We want you to know she laughed.  We want you to know she tried to keep herself from falling asleep because didn't want to miss out on any of the conversations.  We want you to know how happy she was to be free from dialysis and how she was able to enjoy the foods and drinks she desired.  We want you to know one of her last wishes was to have her children & her brother with her as she transitioned to eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.  We want you to know how God blessed Grandma with a peaceful journey.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.  What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Grandma Sue would want you to know while she was sad to leave us behind, but she was ready for this next season to join her heavenly father, and the many loved ones who had left before her.  She would want you to know God and learn about all the promises He has made for those who ask for a relationship with Him.  She would want you to know she loves you and wants you to hear her life story.  She would want you to know some of the best life lessons come from greatest human struggles. 
She wants you to remember to try, and try again. And when you feel like you alone and helpless to turn to God to walk with you or carry you through.  It doesn't matter how late in life you reach out to Him, He will be right there with eternal open arms.
Traditional Christian Prayer
God of all consolation,
In your unending love and mercy for us
You turn the darkness of death
Into the dawn of new life
Show compassion to your people in their sorrow.

Be our refuge and our strength
To lift us from the darkness of this grief
to the peace and light of your presence.

Your son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
By dying for us, conquered death
And by rising again, restored life.

May we then go forward eagerly to meet him,
And after our life on earth
Be reunited with our brothers and sisters
Where every tear will be wiped away

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

3/28/2012

T1D background noise


If I could touch that horn, I would wish for a cure for T1D. 

If Ellie's T1D was cured, my brain would no longer be filled with the background noise of the ever-present disease.




The high pitched barrage of questions looping through my brain would be replaced with the sweet sounds of anything-but-T1D-related-questions.


Questions, asked by Ellie just this past week, like:

1.  When will I be old enough to be a babysitter?
2.  When can you sign me up for horse riding lessons?
3.  Why can't I carry the baby from the living room to the kitchen?
4.  Why can't I have ice cream before bed?
5.  Why do we have to change my POD tonight instead of tomorrow?

Answers I gave to Ellie:

1.  After you take the American Red Cross babysitting course.
2.  I'll put that on my list of things to do.
3.  Because he is squirmy.
4.  Because we are out.
5.  Just because.

Answers (and more questions) I had a conversation about in my head:

1.  Babysitting?  As in watching other people's children?  As in being the responsible one in charge?  N-E-V-E-R.  What if you have a low and cant get to your 'sugar?'  What if . . . . way too many questions to address this request.

2.  Riding a horse?  Controlling a horse?  Falling off a horse?  Are you cRaZy?  What if you have a low while riding?

3.  Because you just checked your blood sugar and you are low.  You might drop him.  How are you ever going to babysit if you don't know to treat yourself before you pick up a baby?

4.  You can't have ice cream before bed when you have a blood sugar of 233.  I am going to lie to you and tell you we are out so I can find a more properly balanced snack before heading off to dreamland.

5.  Because the Apidra we are now using tends to putter out before the full 3 days of your POD.  I don't want to have to poke you more often, but this insulin works better overall, so changing a POD more often is worth it.  Right?  Won't this process give her a better A1C? 



I was happy to let Ellie carry this little cutie (not mine! just watching him for a friend) AFTER she treated the 47 blood sugar. 

How will she do this on her own ?????????????????

3/20/2012

you'll shoot your eye out

google image search
Best. Movie. E-V-E-R.

Safety glasses will drastically reduce the chances of shooting your eye out.  Add in some earplugs to reduce hearing damage, and shooting becomes almost safe enough for a Mom like me to be okay Maddi's new love . . . . target shooting with a Browning Buckmark 22 pistol

Eeeekkkk!

Why not something a little more safe?  Like crocheting, or yoga, or speed walking?

"Because, Mom, shooting is safe when you are education about your weapon and know the rules of the shooting range." Says my sweet little (well, now taller than me) brown-eyed first born.

::le sigh::

Not only does she love hitting targets, she loves the sport of shooting.  So much so, she mustered up the confidence to enter her first steel challenge.

Take a look: (have to click on the link . . . for some reason I could not get the video to embed in the post)

Video from Dave's phone . . . a little jumpy and the sound isn't so great, but you can tell what is happening.

The gentleman behind her is holding up a device that tells Maddi when to start, when to stop, and times how long it takes her to shoot 5 steel targets.

Yeah, I am pretty stinkin' proud. 

I still wish she would take up writing, or photography, or drawing . . . . . oh wait, she does all those things, too.  It's all about the balance, right?!

3/16/2012

good friday


Another week has come and gone . . . it's that time once again to be grateful for 3 things from the last 7 days, no T1D talk allowed.



1. The grandparents drove over to visit us last Saturday. We enjoyed a good meal, great conversation, and weather so nice we all decided to assemble the trampoline together. As you can see, I was most helpful . . . someone had to document the event!



2.  I absolutely LOVED telling the kiddos to take some of their schoolwork outside to complete. Here is Ellie, set up in the shade, losing herself in the 7th Harry Potter book. I love her dirty feet, as they are a sign of warm weather and care-free playing. The best part about homeschooling is getting to enjoy the nice weather days when they come our way.



3.  No, I am not grateful my son can defy gravity. And, no, I am not grateful for his ability to somehow know where his body is in relationship to 'space'.  I am grateful, however, for the safety net surrounding the trampoline . . . who knows where he would have ended up! (or down)

Have a great weekend!

3/15/2012

pimp my pod

Ellie with her OmniPod Insulin Pump

Ellie chose the OmniPod Insulin Pump because she loved the auto-insertion, the tubeless design, and that the pod was waterproof.  She has been proudly pumping insulin since August of 2011. Here is a video we took of her first pod change last July, during her week-long saline trial.

Ellie wears the pod on her stomach, the back of her arms, and on the top of her bum cheeks. Changing the pod site every three days means she has lots of opportunities to decorate the replacement pod (the pod itself is disposable after wearing for 3 days) with stickers and Sharpie designs.

Other Omnipod pumpers personalize their pods, and some even keep the spent pods and use them as decorations and art projects.



Nate over at Houston . . . We Have a Problem likes to decorate his pods, and is kind enough to let his sisters in on the project.


Leighann over at D-Mom*Blog decorates the used pods and uses them as ornaments for her Christmas tree.



Bean from My Sweet Bean and her Pod likes to decorate her doll with a perfectly sized pod so she can be just as sweet as her.

While the stickers, temporary tattoos, and permanent marker personalization work o-k-a-y, Ellie has always wanted something a little more sturdy and re-usable to personalized her pod. These days it is all about personalizing your cell phone, ipod, backpack, t-shirts, etc . . . so why not an insulin pump?

Last night I was browsing my facebook feed and came upon an intriguing update on the OmniPod Group page. A woman named Emily posted a link to her fiance's blog where he wrote a post about designing a product called OmniSkinz.

image from Scott's wordpress blog post
Pimp. Your. Pod. 

Yes, please! I called Ellie over to take a look at the design.  She jumped up and down, clapped her hands, and squealed with delight. "I want those!  Can I, can I, can I . . . can I have all of them, please?!?!"

"Sorry, babe.  These are just prototypes.  They aren't for sale . . . yet", I told her.

I continued to read how Scott came up with the idea, (his fiance, Emily, was diagnosed with T1D and now pumps with the OmniPod) contracted someone to make a prototype, and contacted Insulet, the maker of the OmniPod Insulin Pump, to see if they would be interested in manufacturing the OmniSkinz.

Sketches of the OmniSkinz - personalization

I don't want to miss-quote by summarizing, and I really want you to check out Scott's webpage, so I will give you a link to go and check it out for yourself. 



After reading the article, I encourage you to take the survey and email the Insulet Corporation, telling them you want to see OmniSkinz get to market. (links on Scott's webpage) At this stage, Scott is trying to let Insulet know there IS a demand for this product, and pod customers want personalization for the pod, not just the PDM (personal data manager ~ controls the OmniPod Insulin Pump)

Ellie will live with T1D until a cure is discovered. With that knowledge, her dad and I try to make living with T1D as easy and fun and 'normal' as possible. If she likes these OmniSkinz, then I want to support seeing them manufactured. Even if you, your child, or anyone in your family/friend circle does not personally use an OmniPod Insulin Pump, please take a moment to fill out the survey and let Scott know he has a fantastic idea.

*I do not know Scott personally. I found his website through a facebook link and commented on his blog post. Scott emailed me a reply after I asked a question in his survey, and I emailed back asking if I could post his images, product, and story on my personal blog at three thirty three. Scott did not ask me to write about OmniSkinz, nor will I be compensated in any form for doing so. I support small business and great ideas, so this write-up is my opinion in hopes to see OmniSkinz available for purchase.

3/13/2012

homeschool ninja


"Homeschool Ninja"

~ Would you like to add some fun to your homeschool day?

~ Complete your school work while practicing all your ninja skills!

~ Register now for homeschool ninja and you, too, can take:


 






Ninja Literature 101

 
 







Ninja Bible Scripture / Handwriting 101









Ninja Music - Classical Piano 101




Ninja Math (cat included) 101



Ninja PE 101

Coming Soon:
Ninja Spelling 101
Ninja Art 101
Ninja History 101
Ninja Home Ec 101
Ninja Foreign Language 101

3/12/2012

saying goodbye


 
Bertha Winifred
November 2003 - March 2012
2000 Ford Winstar Minivan
beloved transporter
holder of precious cargo
and a talented musical friend
you will be missed!

 

I apologize for all the times we rode you hard and put you away wet
I apologize for all the bad names I called you
I apologize for breaking your armrest and never replacing it
I apologize for for the puke and other 'mystery liquids' we left on your floor
I apologize for letting you get all rusty
And, I apologize for trading you in without proper warning
But . . . . we must day goodbye to make room for:


<< Name not yet determined >>
March 2012 - at least 10 years from now
2007 Toyota Sienna
our new 'swagger wagon' ride
Hello and welcome!

* I will be holding a contest later this week to give our new miniature van a name. A gift will be the prize, so you don't want to miss out on this fine opportunity!

3/09/2012

good friday


All Fridays are good. I like to start out the day celebrating by reviewing the past week and finding three things for which I am grateful. Technically, if I follow the rules set by Amy at Diapeepees, I am not supposed to talk about T1D.  We'll see how that goes . . .



1.  I am grateful for the $10 cash I had in my pocket to pick up this castle toy set at Walgreen's. Even though my youngest 2 kiddos are a 7yo and 9yo, they spent hours playing, setting up scenes, and designing add-ons with construction paper. (not shown because the glue is still drying!)  As a home-educator, this counts for story telling, art class and indoor recess.

google images

2.  I am grateful for my church family. The people pictured above are a mix of pastors and church staff, and each and every one of them provide not only a community of solid faith, but also lots of laughs. Here they are in a local art store posing as a parody of 'evolution of man' . . . . most likely, however, the intent was to be the 'evolution of pastor Mark'. Or, 'all fall short of pastor Mark', or possibly even 'time has perfected man until the survivor of the fittest gave us pastor Mark'. Now, before you think I have lost my religion, I am a member of a bible believing church. We do not believe in evolution. We DO believe in laughter, however, and this photo is proof positive. 

*As a side note, Pastor Mark is leaving our church to serve in another community. He will be very missed as his gift for leading music worship always made me sing loud and proud . . . . maybe even getting me to close my eyes and lift up my hands just a smidgen above comfortable.



3.  I am grateful for the forethought to pay attention during 7th grade Home Ec. class. I remember how to thread a sewing machine, measure twice and cut once, and how to follow a pieced pattern. Because of this, I was able to whip up a fun little jellyfish purse (2 months ago - during my blog break) by Sew Kawaii. The zipped bag belongs to Ellie, and goes with her e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. It may or may not be her newest T1D bag . . . since that subject is not allowed on 'good friday' posts, I can not confirm nor deny it's contents.

Well, that wraps up this week in our household. We have visitors coming and possible a new purchase on tap for this weekend . . . . you will be informed soon enough.








Be Good!

3/07/2012

wordless'ish wednesday



On Monday the kids and I baked and decorated our first set of cakes for WesleyLife Hospice.  Over the Christmas holiday, we made cookies as a volunteer opportunity for this hospice facility. Recently we were contacted by their volunteer coordinator to see if we wanted to be placed on a list to bake cakes for resident's birthdays.  This was our first month baking, and as you can see, we could use some work on decorating!  Underneath the sprinkles and frosting is where we took the liberty to make the cakes a little more 'cheery' by using food gels to dye the cake mix. Such a simple way to volunteer and show the kids how to bring some joy in an otherwise sad moment for families.


Several years ago Dave and I attended a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course.  While we didn't exactly attack our debts with 'gazelle intensity', we did incorporate many of his methods and are firm believers in being better stewards of our money.  In an effort to rededicate ourselves to the cash flow system and adhere more strictly to our monthly budget, I made some pretty envelopes to divide up the various cash categories.  I used a laminated cotton in hopes they would last a little longer.  I followed a tutorial from here and the bonus part is the envelopes fit perfectly in my current loved-and-adored wallet. Another successful Pinterest project!


As I was browsing through Maddi's photography folder on the computer (looking for a specific photo . . . didn't find it) I stumbled across this project she put together a couple of months ago.  She took a close up photo of each of our faces,  (in order - Dave, me, herself, Ellie and Ben) removed the color from everything but our eyes, and found a bible verse to put it all together.  I really want to have this placed on a canvas or printed out to frame, but the software she used to edit the photos saved it in an odd size, so any attempts to upload and create a print has proved unsuccessful.  Any one out there know how I can make this into a standard size?

We are looking forward to some nice, spring weather this week.  A chance to get out and shake the winter dust off our shoulders and celebrate the change of seasons! 

Ah well, after re-reading and editing for spelling errors, I realized this post isn't so 'wordless'ish' for Wednesday.  I can say with confidence, however, no one has ever told me I follow the rules or am ever at a loss for words!

3/05/2012

the red box

Goggle Images - glucagon search
**Disclaimer**  The information in this post is in no way shape or form intended to be medical advice.  This is simply a recount of what happened to our family and how we muddled through an illness.  I am writing this in order to have a written account of how we handled this situation, as it will, in all probability, happen again.  I am also writing this for other T1D families who wrote their own stories that provided me the courage to let go my fears of 'the red box'.

*If you are not familiar with Type 1 Diabetes, some words used and procedures followed will not make sense. I apologize in advance for any confusion, however, please stick with the story and learn why we pray for a cure.

 
The red box was first given to me 1 day after Ellie was diagnosed with T1D.  I was at the pharmacy picking up prescriptions Ellie's new endocrinologist informed us would be necessary to treat her T1D . . . the list was long.  Two types of insulin, syringes, alcohol wipes, glucose tabs, blood sugar testing meter and strips, and a red box labeled 'Glucagon Emergency Kit' were all waiting on a counter, along with a pharmacy tech ready to explain each item and their use. 

I knew what every thing was except for the red box.  When the tech picked it up and opened the lid, my eyes focused on a very big needle and a very small vial containing a powdery pill.  The tech went on to explain how to flip open the lid on the vial, un-cap the needle of the fluid-filled syringe, and plunge the liquid into the vial.  She showed me how to slowly swirl the vial until the liquid dissolved the tab until the 'new' liquid was clear.  I was then instructed to draw-up the 'mysery liquid' into the now empty syringe, clear the air bubbles, and proceed to inject my daughter (through any clothing barriers) with the nauseatingly big needle into a large muscle group.

:: blink blink::

"Oh!", she said as she noticed my paling skin and sudden shakiness.  "I am sorry.  I didn't even tell you what this is! It is glucagon. Do you know what this is used for?"

::blink blink::  "No", I managed to squeak.

"Well, your daughter should have this with her at all times.  It is a glucagon emergency kit and she will need it when she has a hypoglycemic episode.  Glucagon is a hormone and it will signal the liver to release any stored glucose (sugar) in the body.  It will help her when she is seizing or has lost consciousness due to a seriously low blood sugar.  You must call 911 after administering" she stated.

:: tears welling up and spilling down my cheeks::  "Um, I haven't learned about this yet.  I don't know what you are talking about.  :: choking on my words and trying to hold back an 'ugly cry' episode ::

"Oh. Well. Um, you need to know about it and understand it and, oh. I am sorry" as she quickly stuffed the red box into a paper bag.  "I am sure your Dr. will explain it again.  Just remember, it is really important" she quipped.

And this is how I came to know about the red box.

Eventually the Dr. and diabetes educator explained the need for the contents of the red box, how to use it, how many red box emergency kits to have around the house (we have 3), and all the other scary details about situations when and where we might need to crack it open.

I shared with anyone Ellie might be with, without her father or me, all about the red box and how 'In An Emergency' one should administer it and call 911.  An emergency such as seizing or losing consciousness.  I believe the red box scared everyone else as much as it did me, but I felt comfortable and 'insured' once we discussed it's use.  "You will probably never have to use it" I told them, "This is just in case . . . ." and the subject was closed.

Ellie was diagnosed with T1D in September of 2010 . . . . and we have not had to even touch the red box except for transport and explanation.  529 days without An Emergency. 

You know where this is going, right?  I am not good with suspense. 

Ellie came down with a stomach virus this past Friday afternoon.
Vomiting and T1D are arch enemies, you see.  Losing fluids/foods causes blood sugar to drop.  Dropping blood sugars cause the body to search for energy. Searching for energy other than sugar leads to feeding off of fat in the body.  Feeding off of fat and other tissues causes the body to produce ketones (a strong acid). Ketones require insulin and water to flush them out of the body.  Insulin causes the blood sugars to fall . . . . do you see where this scenario is headed?  If a T1D makes ketones for too long, they go into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which happens quickly and requires immediate medical care.  DKA is the leading cause of death in children with T1D.

So, Ellie started vomiting and I knew we were in for a long and closely monitored night.

We checked blood sugar numbers every half hour and ketone size every 2 hours . . . numbers dropped and ketones slowly increased.

We gave Ellie carb-filled fluids (to raise blood sugars) and so we could give her additional insulin (to lower ketones) . . . . she vomited.

We gave her mints to suck on and ice chips to try and keep her hydrated . . . . she vomited.

We tracked every thing that went in, and everything that came out.


We called her endocrinologist and updated her every two hours in an effort to stay in the comfort of our home vs. going to the hospital.

Our attempts to keep Ellie 'stable' eventually led to thinking about, and then using, the contents of the red box.

As you can see on the whiteboard, around 6pm we were losing the 'balance' battle.  I called the endo. and we discussed options.  One of the options I mentioned included utilizing the contents of the red box to give a mini-dose of glucagon.  If administered correctly, the glucagon would signal her liver to release stored caches of glucose.  We both decided this would be a good way to raise her blood sugar without the risk of her throwing it back up since it would be in the form of an injection and go straight into the blood stream.

While on the phone with the Dr., I slowly broke the seal of the red box and proceeded to follow the instructions for mixing the solution.  The Dr. gave me the dosing instructions necessary for a child Ellie's age and for this particular use.  She then told me to wait 30 minutes, give the glucagon time to work, and recheck Ellie's blood sugar numbers.  We agreed to speak again in 2 hours, or earlier if needed, and hung up the phone. 

I think everything went into slow motion at this next moment. 

I was scared. 

I was nervous. 

I was wanting to back out of the deal. 

Then I looked at Ellie and decided it needed to be done.  A recheck of her blood sugar showed a 54 (not written down) and she was feeling very shaky.

Glucagon filled syringe in hand, I injected Ellie with the contents of the red box. 

I thanked God for my steady hand . . . . and then we waited.

30 minutes later her blood sugar was at a beautiful 110.

The cycle was repeated, unfortunately, one more time.  This time Ellie grabbed the syringe and injected herself in her stomach . . . . letting me know I was a poor "shot-giver" and she would just handle this one.

More phone calls to the Dr. revealed we could repeat the glucagon mini-dose every 30 minutes as needed (the vial, once mixed, is good for 24 hours if refrigerated), but that eventually the stores of glucose in Ellie's system would be used up and the contents of the red box would no longer be affective.

In other words, we were reaching the end of our stay at home.

By 10pm, Ellie's ketones were measuring very large and she needed more insulin than we felt safe dosing, given the fact she was still vomiting.

The Dr. graciously called the ER and explained the situation so we could show up and be sent back right away.  The ER nurse and Dr. on duty were familiar with T1D in children and were extremely accommodating to my needs to still pancreate.

An IV was placed (after a failed one) and Ellie received a bag of fluids along with a dose of Zofran, (anti-nausea drug) while the lab tested blood work to check for enzyme stability and presence of DKA.

Within 15 minutes Ellie's color returned to her face and she perked up with conversation.  At one point, she looked over at me and said, "Mom, I am glad we came here".  Yep, baby, so am I.

The labs came back clear for DKA and her enzymes were still behaving.  Ellie drank 4oz. of apple juice in order to fend off a low blood sugar and we waited to see if it would come back up.

The juice stayed down and Ellie continued to improve, so the Dr. on duty called the endo. and we were given the option to be admitted if we wanted.  Or, she said Ellie should continue to improve and so we could go home to rest and recover.

We went home and were tucked neatly in bed (yes, I DID have her sleep with me) by 3am, with order to check numbers every 2 hours.

By mid-morning the events from the previous 24 hours were becoming a memory and Ellie was resting comfortably. I took a nap and watched a movie and basically tried to forget all about what just happened.

And we lived happily ever after, the end.

Until next time.

I did learn one very important lesson, however, . . . .

I am no longer afraid of the red box.  I learned it is simply another tool in the box of supplies we use to care for Ellie's T1D. 

I can fear the 'situation' in which we need to use the contents of the red box, but not fear the box itself. 

Opening it does not mean Ellie is in danger, it means we have a tool to use to get her OUT of a dangerous situation.

Someday, somehow, someone will discover a cure for T1D . . . and for THAT I will sing my praises of gratefulness from the rooftops.

Until then, I will continue to carry the red box . . . . but now without fear.

3/04/2012

today is the day



Today is the day to pray for the Schuhmacher family,

Today is the day to ask God for a miracle,

Today is the day to fast, send healing thoughts and think ceaslesly about a family reaching out and asking for your help,
Today is the day to help financially if you have every been on this side of struggle and wanted to give back or pay it forward,

Today is the day to bombard the gates of heaven with one, solid message,


Today is the day I believe a miracle will heal Ryan Schuhmacher.


3/02/2012

good friday


I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday i don't care about you
it's Friday I'm in love . . .

Yep, Friday CUREs me of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!  So let's celebrate by thinking of three things you are happy about. (or, 'of which you are happy' if you don't like ending sentences with prepositions . . . Denise)

1.  Paprika.  Paaaaaaaprika.  Papriiiiiiika,  Paprikaaaaaa.  However you want to pronouce it, the Paprika App is one thing I am grateful for this week. I actually downloaded the recipe app a couple of months ago and have been adding in my favorite recipes from my collections of cookbooks.  I love when technology makes my life a little easier, and this app does not dissapoint . . . meal planning made easy(ier)!


~ In app brower to search online recipes
~ custamizable photos for a nice visual of the dish
~ custimazable categories to create your own index
~ calendar to meal plan from stored recipes or your own favorites
~ Click-of-a-button grocery list from your planned meals
~ back up to iCloud included in the app
~ only $4.99 as of 3/2/12 (I paid $6.99, but sooooo worth it)
~ go on and try it, you will Love, lOve, loVe, lovE it!




2.  That girl in the photo from yesterday . . . my oldest who doesn't like photos taken of her . . . well, she started a blog to review all things related to music.  She is combining her love for writing, music, and design and I happen o think that the blog is pretty fabulous.  Defying Dissonance.  Go and check her out and send some love or thoughts if you have the time!  ::major Mama gush::  I am so thankful God gave her to me to enjoy. 



design by nataliedee.com                
3.  I am grateful for my 4 furry little cats who make my day brighter by simply being themselves.  Our family loves to make up funny nicknames and little stories about what thier lives would be like as humans.  My kiddos like to draw and sketch the cats and weave them into stories, leaving me in stitches when they share the finished project.  I love to watch my 4-leggers interact with one another and chase each other down the hallway.  They give me love and cuddles and lots of laughs . . . I almost don't mind all the fuzz and fur they leave behind.  Wow.  Reading this back to myself sounds a little creepy, but I will wear the "Crazy Cat Lady" sash with pride if it means I get to enjoy my furry friends everyday.




Have a great weekend . . . what are YOU grateful for? (Or, for what are you grateful? . . . you're right, Denise . . . it does sound pretty pretentious)

3/01/2012

lest you think


Lest you think Ellie has all the fun doing math.


Lest you think my oldest, Maddi, doesn't really exist due to lack of photos
(she throws her hands up to her face and turns when a camera is aimed in her general direction)



Lest you think Ellie's Type 1 Diabetes is well managed and 'under control' or 'getting better' . . . this is what the last 2 days have looked like.




Lest you think I am going to go cRaZy, this verse was whispering in my ear upon waking this morning.